Latest Entries »

I’ve been doing my best to bring awareness to my stray thoughts, to see what it is I need to spend quality time doing. I often seem to go on adventures in my mind. Examples: I might be some sort of agent for a shadow organization gathering intelligence. I’ve been a wanderer in what I think is old Ireland. I’ve been a doctor working in epidemiology and I’ve been patient zero. I live all of these tales, all of these of lives, in my inner world.

There’s something woven deep into every story. Some element of mystery. Usually, I’m undercover or avoiding detection. I always seem to be under the guise of looking for answers. It’s not the answers that I get, but what I learn in pursuit of the truth, which keeps me coming back. I replay different scenarios, play different roles, and I learn by seeing how things unfold. It’s akin to orchestrating a masterpiece and seeing how everything fits together, from each musician’s point of view as well as the conductor’s. Sometimes I am able to sit back and enjoy it as the audience, but generally, I am analyzing—constructing and deconstructing.

To be perfectly clear, this is the area where treatment helps the most. It helps me to focus less on analysis and focus more on the present. I tend to get stuck somewhere between wanting to do things and actually doing them. So I am working on shortening the want phase and hopping directly to the action phase. I have been successful in doing this with school work, trails, drawing, reading, and writing. I do it in small bursts. I get a rebound of doubt and despair. The harder it pushes back, the more I push back and keep doing what I’m doing.

This has resulted in feeling caged. To be fair, the cage is open and I keep coming back. In fact, sometimes I don’t leave the cage at all. I don’t see the point in it. Broken-spirited at times. Now, it’s like I’m pacing back and forth inside my open cage. I feel torn apart by the desire to charge out and never look back, and the feeling of just dying in my cage to be done with suffering. Then the introject kicks in, sounding very reasonable: Life is suffering. Your suffering will follow you everywhere. Just be done with it.

Indeed. Just be done with it. I agree wholeheartedly. At the same time, there’s this enthusiasm that bristles in me when I think of the possibilities. What if I traveled to another country? What if I found a way to get by and maybe even know comfort? What if I was on my own and doing well? I could never know these things if I were to just be done with it. I have felt most alive in environments where I was the odd one out. There’s this excitement to learning in real-time with actual people. It isn’t like learning from a book or a TV program. Assimilating is a bit of a fright and a delight.

So many things could go wrong, but there’s an intuition that most people share. A knowingness that someone means no harm and people react most often with kindness. Sometimes cruelty results, but that is less often the case. By focusing on the potential (all potential), it puts perceived threats into perspective and shows the opportunities.

Social change is possible. People who act as guides would tell you that you must find peace with suffering in the world; your suffering and everyone else. While inner peace is important, it is equally important to acknowledge that we collectively shape our own reality. If society couldn’t change, then the United States would still be importing Africans for the slave trade. If society couldn’t change, women would still be viewed as property (or perhaps would be equal, since many societies treated women as equals prior to religion).

An individual is powerless when going against the grain of society, but a whole group of people who are ready for change can be an unstoppable force. Martin Luther King Jr. would have had no impact on society without everyone who supported him and shared his ideals. Now, with social media, it’s never been easier to share and get behind an idea.

Society is ready to change again. The wealthiest cannot be allowed to continue taking from the middle class and poor. The way we are living is unsustainable. The powers that be would like to convince us that the system could work. It doesn’t work the way it is right now. If you need proof, open your eyes and look around you. We are living in an illusion.

Are you ready for change? Are you ready to stand up for yourself? It’s time to open up the dialogue about our future, because if we don’t, then we have no future. We need to come up with possible scenarios, directions to go in, and we must act soon.

Please share your thoughts. What can every day people like you and me do differently?

To Myself and Any Who Need Apply,

What needs to be said?

Humans are immature.

I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. It is simply an observation.

I take a look at the hot topics in media. The political winds are changing.

There has been a huge focus on the LGBT crowd, which is delightful. Discrimination is being acknowledged and people are standing up for themselves.

I know we need to take small steps. Change scares people and that saddens me. Change is inevitable. Change can be so many things. Why not look at it like an adventure, an exploration of who you are in relation to everyone else?

Why is there inequality in the first place? How are we valuing ourselves and one another? If I value you as a person, you should have the same rights as me.

Let’s take away the legalities of marriage for a moment. If two consenting adults want to share their lives with each other, let them. That’s all there is to it. Either recognize marriage for consenting adults or let’s not grant special rights to some couples and not others. I am sure that by now, in 2015, people can handle the fact that love is love.

Could we now address the issues that actually matter to the survival of our species? Stop ignoring your environment. You need an inhabitable environment in which to live – so do future generations. Let’s start implementing some of the brilliant technologies that are getting buried beneath heaps of political bull shit.

What can one person do? I suppose finding like-minded people is a start. Discussion. Time to find real candidates to lead people into a better state of being. What you have, right now, it keeps you complacent, yes? But are you really okay with the fact that your smart phone was made by someone who earns a few cents a day and literally works themselves to death? Are you okay with some people having rights and others are treated as though they are worthless? It’s okay, you know. A lot of us are guilty of supporting terrible practices, simply by buying some every day item. It’s fascinating to me how much influence we truly have with our dollars, yet how powerless we seem to feel. Which brings me to advertising and information collection.

Aren’t you tired of being bombarded by ads? Ads are everywhere. There is no privacy any more. We willingly tell people every little detail through social media. All it is, is a way to gather your information. Information is more valuable than anything on this earth. You willingly give it away. I do too. It is madness. Don’t get me wrong, sharing information is natural and healthy. It is wrong for us to be exploited for it.

Maybe it’s time to lay off the ‘likes’ and put your money where your heart is. Consumers can turn the table at any time. It is a choice and a commitment to altering your own lifestyle for the wellbeing of everyone, and all you have to do is support small, local business, and be more involved in creating or maintaining a healthier existence. It’s not healthy to be inside all the time, or sedentary, or so isolated from the realities of the world we live in.

Stop shopping at Goliath companies on the internet. It’ll be a difficult adjustment, but humans can adapt. We were built to adapt, and we are relying too much on adapting things to us. Go outside. Feel the sun and the wind on your skin. Go for walks. Pay attention to how the plants and trees change over the seasons. It’s so good for you.

Whew. That felt good to get off my chest. What to do?

I’m contemplating what the best course of action is for me, personally. I refuse to waste my life in the pursuit of acquiring things I don’t need.

The first step is I need to stop objectifying myself. I’m not just a consumer or a client or a patient. I am a human being. People who objectify themselves keep wanting and what they have is not satisfying. It can lead to so many destructive behaviors. It’s bad enough we do it to ourselves, but then we reinforce it in each other too through institutionalization. We are socialized to be a certain way from the time we are born until the day we die.

The suicide rate in young people is outrageously high. So many young people and adults suffer from mood disorders. People know who they are and society pressures them to conform. It makes people miserable either because they deny their truth or they are ostracized.

So maybe it is time for those who feel this way to start living their truths, just to see what would happen. After all, doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is insanity at it’s finest.

I’m afraid of making change, and I’m okay with that. I am not letting the fear stop me from moving forward.

I have eight classes until I complete the master’s degree. Then I will go anywhere and everywhere, just live my life as if I am capable of anything. Ultimately, the attitude we wield will make or break a person.

There is no one fate written in stone. We all write our own fates with the way we choose to live.

All I can do is be my authentic self and live my truth.

Chew on that for a while.

The Meaning of Awe

Every so often, I am awe-stricken. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing; I am taken aback by a profound silence, deep within myself. I am perfectly still, and for a moment, I can feel everything. Every Thing.

I feel every ache my psyche has ever had. Every scrape to my ego, every bubble burst. It washes over me like a gentle wave which begins to recede. Farther and farther, exposing my foundation and becoming a tidal wave.

I take a deep breath and feel myself emptying.

The stillness. The silence.

The tidal wave consumes me.

All the sadness in my life comes crashing down. It hurts so much. It’s heavy and loud. I begin to break down all the things that bother me. I examine the sadness closely. I question everything and I observe myself.

I exhale slowly. The collision is over. Calmness comes from my observation. The sadness is followed by relief.

Everything is okay.

The Multiple Self theory is the gold standard in neuroscience.

In short, all people have multiple selves, but they are generally experienced as a continuity because the brain fills in the gaps-creating the illusion of individualism. Much the same way as our eyes constantly experience micromovements so they do not desensitize to visual queues. The brain fills in the gaps between visual frames as well.

Not everyone has this illusion of continuity. When a person is traumatized early in their childhood (typically before the age of 7), their brain may feel that it is safer not to remember things or not to have expectations. This disrupts the continuity of the Self and thus, a person with this condition experiences having multiple identities.

In Psychology, this is called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD).

Multiple Selves is not a new concept. Linguistically, the concept is quite old. Some believe we have a dual-self. Perhaps it is the conscious and the unconscious or the personal unconscious and collective unconscious. The personal unconscious contains those elements of our own unique life experience which have been forgotten, ignored, repressed, suppressed or otherwise blocked from consciousness. Some of these elements can be easily recalled into consciousness at will, while others may be more difficult to access or retrieve. The collective unconscious represent recurring themes and symbols that show up in people’s dreams, writings, and art work. Jung’s archetypes fit well into the multiple self model.

This is the idea that these states of being which appear repeatedly within the human psyche are shared by humans around the world, and emerge from us to be actualized. It’s a part of the human experience, part of personal evolution. Think of a life change or someone who takes charge in a dire situation. They may act as another person would and get through a situation they otherwise would not have survived. They may have a totally different attitude and approach to life. It could be temporary or long-term. The goal then, is integration: integration of the different parts of the psyche.

In the treatment of DID, integration is often the end-goal. However, there seems to be a low rate of continued success. Meaning, people don’t tend to stay integrated. I think this is because new selves are always emerging. Just as a person who experiences continuity has no solid-state of self, a person who experiences multiplicity won’t stay in a state of integration because their selves are always changing and emerging.

I’m not sure if a person with multiplicity can train their brain to fill in the gaps once they pass the stage of personality integration during young childhood (around 7-9 years old).

This is a fascinating topic to me. What are your thoughts?

Many Twists and Turns

It’s no secret that I have had a lot of life changes as of lately.

I graduated from college in August.  My three and half year long relationship ended in September.  Now I am living with family temporarily.

This is an opportunity for healing.  It is also a safety net while I look for temporary work, as I start the lengthy application process to teach English in Japan.  There is no guarantee that I will be hired, but if I am hired, they will take good care of me.

In the mean time, I am also looking at graduate programs.  I haven’t figured out exactly what I want to do, but I am considering programs in Industrial Psychology, Anthropology, and Cognitive Neuroscience.

There is no right or wrong life path, only consequences.  As life changes, my attitude must keep me afloat.  It is my outlook that really matters.  All the opportunities in the world are meaningless if I am not open to them.

I don’t need luck; just friends.

A Quick Synopsis

Work in progress.

Work in progress.

This work in progress is symbolic of where I’m at currently.

The tree represents my grounding in identity (or lack thereof (there aren’t roots)), branching out all of my conscious parts, connected through the unconscious and rooted (abstractly, not concretely) here in reality. No roots might mean this is transient and temporary.

The black circle in the center is an eclipse and is located in the third-eye area. This represents that the eye is open, but at the moment, it is shrouded — creating an inner-twilight. Yes, things in my life are strange right now. Who am I really? What do I want? It’s all there, but the answers are fuzzy as I move past this jaded version of myself.

Eyes with clouds. It’s as though everything is clouded. I’m in a fog. Yet my eyes are open and I am making decisions in my own time, with clarity, despite the fogginess.

I’ll resubmit this drawing after I’ve finished, and perhaps offer new insights in the next synopsis.

Feel free to ask questions or contribute your own critique. Any followers of Carl Jung out there? 😉

George Washington

In Washington’s Farewell address, he:

Extolls the benefits of the federal government. “The unity of government…is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence…of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize.”

Warns against the party system. “It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption…thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

Stresses the importance of religion and morality. “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?”

On stable public credit. “…cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible…avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt….it is essential that you…bear in mind, that towards the payments of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not…inconvenient and unpleasant…”

Warns against permanent foreign alliances. “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”

On an over-powerful military establishment. “…avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

From here.

When a government refuses to do it’s job and holds its citizens hostage, it is time to take a good look at what their agenda truly is — for the best interest of the citizens is not a part of their agenda.  If these politicians did not show up for work any where else, they would not have a job to go back to.

I say that what congress votes on should apply to congress AND the People.  Politicians are NOT above the law.  Their health care should be the same health care that everyone has.  They must abide by the same rules and regulations that they force onto others. 

What should the government have a say in?  Based on their behavior, I think they should not have control over any essential services nor on personal lives–that way if they decide to throw another tantrum, the rest of the adults can continue with their lives as they normally would.

What do you think?

Are you OKAY with being the hostage of indecision and the tantrum our leaders are throwing?  I’m certainly not.

Bipartisanship is destroying our nation and citizens are allowing it to happen.

Changing Winds

Flower
It’s not easy, falling apart and rebuilding myself. This happens repeatedly in life. Sometimes it seems as though life is nothing more than this process of deconstructing and reconstructing different layers of myself. I remember it was easier when I was a child. I suppose, as a child, I had less invested into my existence. As an adult, this experience is frightening at first, as I alternate between turbulence and stillness, not unlike navigating through a storm.

I find myself emptying the cup again. This time is different. I am packing everything up and heading into the southern hemisphere for a while. There is something exciting and rejuvenating about the primordial lure of sub-tropics and rugged terrain.

My journey is riddled with old passions and curiosity, and I welcome (with some apprehension) the unknown. I will be in another country, immersed in culture and language. I will be surrounded by rich history, which decorates the land and stretches to the sky (elevations as high as 11,000 feet!).

It’s not just a trek to visit ancient ruins. It’s a shift in the direction of my life. I can keep making excuses to continue doing the same thing, or I can admit that I am miserable trying to live the American Dream. I don’t fit in here. I’ve given it multiple tries and things aren’t working out. I’m disconnected from family. I’ve isolated myself from friends. I’m finished college. All the things that could tie me here no longer apply.

I don’t expect anything particularly magical or life changing to occur as a result of my venture, but rather, my life is already moving in another direction and this will simply add to my experience.

Beliefs and Reality

It is the nature of man to seek congruency between beliefs and reality.  The typical mechanism seen in people is the ability to either let go of rigid belief systems in order to accept reality, or deny reality in order to reinforce the belief system.  Through denial or actuation, a balance is still maintained within a person’s existence.

Some people do not bend beliefs or reality, however.  Some people live in a perpetual paradox of thoughts and feelings as it relates to themselves and the world.  Many of these people shut down, unless they find some other way to deal with the paradox.  Devaluing beliefs or derealizing reality are two ways of making the imbalance unimportant, and detaching from such concepts.

If I devalue my beliefs, then it doesn’t matter that I have accepted a reality that defies my belief system.

If I get technical about reality, and admit all I have are my beliefs–that all I am is a series of electrical pulses and chemical releases, which formulates this person I call Cyndi, then I see reality doesn’t really matter.  Reality is in fact, what I am able to perceive and process, which is true for all people.  If one side of the equation is null, then both sides are null.

What’s left?

How do you deal with the discrepancies between belief and reality?